It’s been great to get back in action this month after a strange and challenging 11 weeks without racing. The meetings are obviously being held in unusual circumstances behind closed doors, but we’re delighted to get going again in any case.
We sent out three winners across the first three weeks of racing resuming, with Jungle Jane making a flying start to the new season when winning in good style at Tipperary.
It was unfortunate that she was just touched off under a 7lb penalty the following week in the Rockingham Handicap when a low draw didn’t help her chance and she was only beaten by the bob of a head. She’s obviously a smart filly and hopefully she’ll be able to pick up some black type this season.
Jungle Jane, winning in style in Tipperary
We were delighted to see Romantically win her second race for us at Fairyhouse for owner-breeder John Connaughton. She ran with the choke out a little at the Curragh on her next start but she seems to be really enjoying her racing at the moment and hopefully we can get her head in front again in due course.
Romantically enjoying her win at Fairyhouse
Mogwli did well to get off the mark at Fairyhouse too. He needs cover in his races and seemed to come home well over six furlongs, so fingers crossed he can be a fun horse who the apprentices can ride through the season.
Mogwli winning at Fairyhouse
Epona Plays is a filly we like and she wasn't disgraced on her comeback run in the Listed Salsabil Stakes at Navan before just getting touched off in a maiden at Leopardstown. Although she's by Australia, who can be an influence for stamina, the other side of her pedigree suggests she could be suited by dropping in trip and we think we'll be trying her over a mile or nine furlongs next time.
Yenillik was gelded over the winter and only found a good winner too strong at Gowran on his first start of the season. He probably needs to get things his own way but we'll be trying our best to get his head front. Call Of The Jungle was a bit fresh on her first start of the season and is one we're looking forward to seeing when there's a little more ease in the ground.
Amelia Jane has plenty of ability and although she ran respectably on both her starts this season at Limerick, we think she's capable of a little better than she's showing us. Billy Lee felt that Royal Canford could benefit from dropping back to six furlongs after a decent run on her reappearance at Leopardstown over seven. It's possible she could head back to Galway, where she was second last year, with the track seeming to suit her well.
Flaming Princess didn't run badly in the Listed Polonia Stakes at Naas on her second start of the month and we'll be targeting five-furlong races with her. She's a speedy filly and even the extra half furlong seems to have been catching her out. We were happy with how Kristall Eye ran on her first two starts of the season at Gowran and Naas and we hope she can be competitive off her opening mark of 70.
Fictitious Lady has a good pedigree behind her and should be a nice filly for Deerpark Stud, having finished a good fourth on her debut at Gowran. I was very happy with how Roving Mission ran on her first start on grass for us at Roscommon behind a smart winner too. She'll head for another maiden at the same track next month, which should suit her well.
I was pleased with how Lightning Boltz ran on his debut at Tipperary when finishing fourth. That was an open maiden and he’s eligible to run in more restricted company, so hopefully he can keep going the right way over five or six furlongs. Musical Rue ran okay on her first start of the season at Navan, and again at Limerick next time, but she's just been a little disappointing overall and we're not quite sure if she's giving us her all.
Strawberry Morn wasn't beaten all that far on her handicap debut at Limerick over a mile and Billy felt seven furlongs could suit her better. We're hoping that Maid's Cap, a half-sister to Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter, will come forward from her debut at Roscommon. She seems a dour galloper.
Innervisions ran in a competitive handicap for her first start of the season at Gowran and it's possible she won't have too many more chances. Lisabetta was doing her best work at the finish when sixth on her debut at Roscommon and, although it's taken a bit of time for her to get over the race, we hope she can continue going the right way.
As we come to the end of an unusual first full month of the season, we’d like to extend a special word of thanks to all our owners for their continued support throughout the pandemic, as well as to our staff, who have been fantastic in working hard to keep the show on the road.
Hopefully we can all keep safe going forward while trying to get as many winners on the board as possible.